Does Duke want to play Carolina? Coach K Florida Tech Panthers Jerseys swatted away my question like he was Mark Williams
SAN FRANCISCO — By the time the Duke Blue Devils and coach Mike Krzyzewski sat down at the press conference follo Texas vs. Oklahoma Rivalry Shirts wing their 78-69 victory over Arkansas, we no l Chaminade University Silverswords clothes onger were playing out a lot of hypotheticals.
Duke was in the 2022 Final Four.
Having been assigned to the West Region, the Blue Devils were positioned on what the NCAA Tournament selection committee established as the “left” side of the bracket. The other region on that side, meaning the team the West champ would play in the national semifinals, was the East. There, No. 8 seed North Carolina will play No. 15 seed Saint Peter’s on Sunday for the right to face Duke. The Tar Heels are 8-point favorites.
Come on, people, do I have to spell this out?
BENDER: Should America be rooting for Duke-Saint Peter's or Duke-UNC?
We well could have a national semifinal between Duke and the team it despises most, North Carolina. It would be the most consequential meeting in the furious history of the greatest rivalry in American sports. They’ve never met in the NCAA Tournament, which only has bee Colgate Raiders Jerseys n permissible since 1975 and only been likely since Krzyzewski arrived and the tournament bracket expanded in 1985.
So as I sat there as Krzyzewski discussed at length the various demands of defeating the game Razorbacks in this Elite Eight game, and as the players responded to questions about what they’d accomplished and how it was done, it was hard not to wonder if someone in the media was going to ask somebody from the team about the possibility of another meeting with Carolina. I mean, especially given how the Tar Heels invaded Cameron Indoor Stadium on March 5 — a night designed to celebrate Krzyzewski’s final game coaching on Coach K Court — and left with a 94-81 victory.
No one? Really? Not even the folks from Carolina?
DECOURCY: Duke crosses bridge Arkansas Razorbacks Jerseys into Final UNC vs. Duke Rivalry Shirts Four again
They knew better, I supposed. But I believed it had to be done.
Perhaps recklessly, Denver Pioneers clothes I put my hand up and was recognized by Mara Rudolph, the press conference moderator.
"I hope this question doesn't get me in any trouble," I said.
"You’re close," Krzyzewski said with a smile, perhaps sensing what was coming.
"I'm really putting my neck out on this one," I started. "You guys —"
"You already asked just a mediocre one," Krzyzewski teased. "Hopefully it's up."
"You guys are on the same side of the bracket a NCAA Spirit Jerseys s the team eight miles up the road," I said. "Is there any chance that you guys would silently root for them tomorrow, so that you can get another shot at them?"
I had to expect they would not get a chance to answer, but Krzyzewski stepped in and blocked that like he was Mark Williams smacking a shot into the band.
"You know what, it's going to be an honor for us to go against whoever is the regional champion of that region, and there's no greater day in college basketball than when those four regional champions, four champions, get under one in one arena and play,” Krzyzewski said. “It's the greatest day for college basketball, and we're honored to be a part of it. We already know Villanova is there. Hopefully (Justin) Moore is not hurt as bad as it looks like he is hurt, and then whoever wins tomorrow, it will be an honor if we ever get a chance to play them.
"That's it for you. You lose your allowance, and you can't go out tomorrow night, all right?"
They have been in the same NCAA Tournament 36 times. They came close to meeting at the 1991 Final Four, the year Krzyzewski won his first of five champions Eastern Michigan Eagles shirt hips. But in the semifinal that preceded Duke’s historic victory over undefeated UNLV, North Carolina lost to Kansas (and coach Roy Williams) by six points.
So Carolina and Duke may or may not play next Saturday. Saint Peter’s already has astonished college basketball fans by taking out the No. 2 East seed Kentucky and the No. 3 seed Purdue. Maybe a No. 8 seed will be nothing to them.
The good news is, I’m not "grounded" for the Final Four. I’ll be courtside for whatever game develops.
COACH K'S FINAL SEASON:
Chapter 1: Ending the era
Chapter 2: Inside the greatest game
Chapter 3: Getting recruited by the legend
Chapter 4: Redeeming USA Basketball
Chapter 5: College Halloween Costumes Coaching against K